Not allowed to cancel SFP orders at customer's request?


#1

I had 5 SFP orders in which the customers reached out to me through Amazon’s messaging system to request cancellation of the orders before they shipped. I obliged and cancelled them. This resulted in my SFP eligibility being suspended due to my cancellation metric. There were no other cancellations other than the ones requested by my customers. I replied on Friday to the suspension email with screen shots of the cancellation requests along with order numbers. Here is the response I just received from SFP Performance:

We received your information, but your plan is not complete.

Your Seller Fulfilled Prime eligibility was revoked due to your Prime performance during 3/24-3/31 . Our review of your account found that your cancellation rate for your Seller Fulfilled Prime orders is higher than the 0.5% requirement of the program.

Regarding cancellation, a customer can cancel an order up to 30 minutes after placing it with no action required from you. If a customer cancels an order after 30 minutes, direct them to contact Customer Service instead of canceling the order yourself. By doing so, you avoid a negative impact on your cancellation rate.

In order to regain your eligibility, you need to submit a Plan of Action that explains:

  1. What actions you are taking to remedy the situation?
  2. What measures are you putting in place to avoid the reoccurrence of this problem?

You can submit your Plan of Action by replying to this email. We look forward to hearing from you.

This seems entirely counterintutive that we now have to direct customers to Amazon customer service in order to cancel an order that we could cancel with the click of a button. It also seems like it will set us up for negative feedback when we force a customer to deal with Amazon customer support instead of just handling the request ourselves. Is this actual Amazon policy or did I possibly get a response from a misinformed SFP Performance employee? Curious to hear some of your thoughts.


Buyer cancellations counting against Pre-fulfillment cancellation rate stats - glitch
#2

There is a glitch in how SFP system calculated defect rate specifically on correctly cancelled orders

It was discussed here: ( Please take a look ) We have proactively reached out to Seller Support on this and were not suspended. I did screen shots on there that we have submitted to Seller Support for easy identification and clarity, just in case there was a language barrier. It appeared to work. I also referred to the topic on the forum to document that the glitch has happened to multiple sellers:


#3

I don’t think it’s a glitch. I just found this clear as day in the rules for SFP cancellations:

“If a customer cancels an order after 30 minutes, direct them to contact Customer Service instead of canceling the order yourself. By doing so, you avoid a negative impact on your cancellation rate.”

This is insane. In my plan of action I actually had to write out, “when a customer requests that I cancel their order I will no longer cancel it as they requested. Instead, I will direct them to Amazon customer service.”

How is this in the best interest of the customer when I could cancel their order as requested with the click of a button?


#4

Wow! Thanks for reading this, I will instruct my staff to do so immediately.

I would not call this a customer-centric policy… sending a customer through such hoops.

But, I Guess

'When in Rome , Do as the Romans Do


#5

I don’t think it’s a glitch. I just found this clear as day in the rules for SFP cancellations:
“If a customer cancels an order after 30 minutes, direct them to contact Customer Service instead of canceling the order yourself. By doing so, you avoid a negative impact on your cancellation rate.”

Where exactly did you find that statement? Please provide the source.

This sounds like the language Amazon used in their message about how to deal with COVID19. I do not believe it is the way things are supposed to work for SFP.


#6

As requested, here is the source. Scroll down to “cancellation rate”

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/202072550


#7

Thanks, I don’t know why I couldn’t find it when I searched for it.

I’m a pretty ornery sort, and I don’t think I’d be willing to follow those instructions. Because they’re just… well, stupid. That would be my appeal if I lost SFP as a result.

Root Cause:
I didn’t follow the rule because the rule is DUMB.

:rofl::rofl::rofl:


#8

Yea, there are a lot of Amazon policies that can be frustrating to us sellers but I can usually see why they have them in place. This one? I’m at a complete loss as to how and why it exists. A customer wants to cancel an order before it’s shipped. They send us a request and we have to tell them, “sorry…no can do. You have to get in line to chat with a rep and see if they’ll do it for you. I don’t want to damage my metrics.”


#9

This one? I’m at a complete loss as to how and why it exists.

Usually, when I see something that makes absolutely no sense (as opposed to it just being bad for me), I suspect it’s probably an Amazon mistake.

I think this was the wording from their COVID19 policy, so they might have applied it temporarily across the board, thinking (wrongly) that we SFP’ers would appreciate the concession to not have cancellations count against us.

The goal was probably to not have coronavirus cancellations count against anybody (whether SFP or not) and the unintended consequence was to make the process for regular cancellations (whether SFP or not) harder than they needed to be for both buyer and seller.


#10

Well they suspended me for cancelling orders that their customers requested I cancel. When I appealed the suspension with order numbers and pictures of the messages from buyers, their response was, “you are still suspended. We need you to explain how you will make sure this never happens again.” Nice.


#11

Thank you for bringing this to the seller community attention! I had a SFP order cancellation request and instead of cancelling it, I sent this customer a message like this and saved it as a template

----message start ----

Dear [BUYER_NAME]:

Thank you for contacting us regarding order SELLER FULFILLED PRIME [ORDER_ID] cancellation.

For Seller Fulfilled PRIME orders, Amazon requires that AMAZON CUSTOMER SERVICE processes the cancellation for you.

Here are the instructions we are given by Amazon:

“A customer can cancel an order up to 30 minutes after placing it … If a customer cancels an order after 30 minutes, direct them to contact AMAZON Customer Service instead of canceling the order yourself.”

Please contact Amazon Customer Service at (888) 280-4331, or I have included a link to more Amazon Help/Contact Pages:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=508510

I apologize for this convenience and am sure the Amazon Customer Service will be able to assist you once you mention to Amazon Customer Service that this is Seller Fulfilled PRIME and the cancellation needs to by processed by AMAZON Customer Service per Amazon Instructions.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance to you.

Thank you so much for shopping Amazon and being valued PRIME member,

— message end ----

We will see how this plays out. What do we do when customer does not follow through with requesting the cancellation from Amazon customer service?

  • do we ship the order and upset the customer?
  • do we cancel and jeopardize our SFP eligibility for sake of good customer service?
  • do we ship and then cancel and refund?

What is the guidance by Amazon in such instance?

In the meantime, to answer your question, you can possibly include a similar template in your POA stating that to prevent this from happening in the future, when a customer requests cancellation on SFP order, you will not cancel it and already have a template per AMAZON policies with the following verbiage… ( feel free to use and modify mine )


#12

Thanks for the template. I have used something similar twice… and what do I get. An order cancellation request from Amazon customer service:

Reason: Cancel Order
Details: The order has not yet shipped and the customer has asked to cancel the order. Please contact the customer.

Reason: Cancel Order
Details: We do not have an option yo process a cancellation

So now customer support says they don’t even have an option to cancel!


#13

I asked customers to contact amazon support to cancel.


Amazon says that it needs to be canceled from your end. That your company
is handling its own sales.


Reason: Cancel Order
Details: The order has not yet shipped and the customer has asked to cancel the order. Please contact the customer. Please cancel the order and issue full refund on top priority.


#14

You ought to be more specific in your boilerplate text. What you really need from the customer is an “order cancellation request” message, and if they say those magic words to the Amazon reps, they generally know what to do. As a technical matter, the seller does cancel but only after the buyer sends the properly coded message.

Absent that, there’s really no choice but to send and hope for the best. When the customer says OMG WHY DID U SEND, apologize and say this is a silly policy, but it’s what Amazon demands of sellers who participate in Prime. Remind them that returns are automatically authorized, and they can simply print out the lovely automatically generated label and cover the old one up. Once you see that it is in transit, issue the refund.


#15

Absent that, there’s really no choice but to send and hope for the best. When the customer says OMG WHY DID U SEND, apologize and say this is a silly policy, but it’s what Amazon demands of sellers who participate in Prime. Remind them that returns are automatically authorized, and they can simply print out the lovely automatically generated label and cover the old one up. Once you see that it is in transit, issue the refund.

…and pay for shipping both ways.


#16

Sfp is different


#17

The issue is that customers are sending the properly coded message and they are still counting against metrics and sfp-performance refuses to acknowledge that its a glitch or add the orders as exceptions and people are getting suspended from doing seller fulfilled prime because of it.


#18

Yes, there IS a glitch! I have reached out to SS and SFP support 3 times this week. SS responded with incorrect information (they both said I would not see any changes until I earn the badge) not true, and SFP support has not responded at all.

With the recent slow dispatch of FBA items I have had a huge uptick in SFP sales, 30+ this month. Only 1 has registered on my scorecard.

I have either already earned my badge, or I am a couple of orders away. I have no idea, since my sales have not been registering on the trial score card for some time.

I only realized this last week when I checked in to see if I had earned my badge. Much to my horror I noted that my SFP trial sales have not been registering for some time.


#19

It’s worse than that…it’s actually not a glitch. It’s spelled out clear as day in the SFP rules:

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/202072550

“A customer can cancel an order up to 30 minutes after placing it with no action required from you. If a customer cancels an order after 30 minutes, direct them to contact Customer Service instead of canceling the order yourself. By doing so, you avoid a negative impact on your cancellation rate.”

I was reinstated last night after being suspended for 9 days. Here was the plan of action that it took to get my privileges back:

1.) Root cause of the suspension: When an Amazon customer messaged me through Amazon’s messaging system requesting that their order be cancelled, I would cancel it myself. This resulted in my cancellation rate rising above the .5% allowed by Amazon.

2.) Steps I am taking to fix the problem: As you have instructed in your email above, I will no longer cancel a customer’s order at their request. Instead, I will direct them to Amazon’s Customer Service who can do it for them.

3.) Measures I am putting in place to avoid the re-occurrence of this problem: My employees will be instructed to direct any Amazon customer requesting a cancellation to Amazon’s Customer Service.


#20

Thank you for sharing your POA. I’m sure you won’t be the only and I’m glad to hear that you were reinstated. The problem now is customer service can not cancel an order. They really never have been able to cancel third party sellers orders. I thought maybe something changed but three times now I’ve sent customers to customer service only to receive a cancellation request from customer service. Thing is I still have to process the cancellation request as “buyer requested “.

This is the way it was always supposed to work. You only send the buyer to customer support when the requested a cancellation using the wrong email header. That way customer support can send you the correct one.

Glitch is the only thing that makes sense…